@iLabAfrica’s COVID-19 Response in Respect to Online Learning

Philomena Mwangi- Ag Covid

Training on Online Learning Tools

Over the last few years, @iLabAfrica, a research and incubation center at Strathmore University, has developed capacity in delivering teaching and learning online using web conferencing tools for its students and staff.

This was necessitated by the need to save time for students who are enrolled in @iLabAfrica’s Masters programmes and who wish to utilize a considerable amount of time on their commute between their places of work and Strathmore University to study on the go.

Against this, Strathmore University began making preparations for a possible shut down of educational institutions owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centre, through its Digital learning department, spearheaded the training of all lecturers on campus on the use of web conferencing tools in preparation to move the physical classes online and in good time.

The training included in-depth tutorials on how to use Skype for Business for teaching. Beyond the training, @iLabAfrica provided resources on Microsoft Teams as an alternative teaching and collaboration tool. Through this effort more than 300 Strathmore university lecturers were trained and are now delivering classes online despite the partial lock down implemented in Kenya.

Mobile Data Support for Students

Similarly, as the University prepared to move classes online, it became imperative that students would require support in accessing online learning resources. @iLabAfrica leveraged an existing working relationship with a leading Mobile Network Operator to develop a mobile data bundle that would give students access to eLearning resources.

These discussions led to an agreement to develop a monthly data bundle of 10GB charged at KES 500/$5 whose purchase Strathmore University would sponsor on behalf of students.

The data bundle works on selected whitelisted sites such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, strathmore.edu and elearning.strathmore.edu. This way the university ensures that students are able to access all their online classes, as well as resources on the University’s eLearning platform.

Find out more on the project at  www.ilabafrica.ac.ke

About the Author

Philomena Mwangi- Ag

Digital Learning Manager, @iLabAfrica

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